Chief Program Officer (WFC)

Title: Chief Program Officer

Location: Oakland, CA

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Status: Exempt Full-Time



The Women’s Foundation of California has a 40-year track record of supporting community-based organizations working to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. As a public community foundation focused on intersectional feminist funding, we have raised and granted nearly $40M in movement-building grants since 1979. Our core strategies are: investing in community organizations, training community leaders, and convening community partners in order to mobilize significant financial resources to advance the health, safety, and economic security of people impacted by gender-based oppression and violence. We support movements led by cisgender and transgender women, gender-variant, genderqueer, and non-binary individuals--especially those who are formerly incarcerated, immigrants, people of color, low-income, and/or queer.  We’re comprised of a dynamic, smart, collaborative group of people who are passionate about our work and committed to making good things happen for all Californians. As we come up on our 40th anniversary in 2019 with a refreshed strategic plan, the Foundation is well-poised to take a significant leadership role in advancing gender, racial, and economic justice in California.


The Chief Program Officer (CPO) works closely with the CEO, staff, and Board to help shape and implement the strategic vision for the Women’s Foundation of California (Foundation) programming ensuring that the Foundation’s programs are innovative and strategic and aligned with our core belief that those who directly experience injustice are best suited to develop solutions that ultimately benefit all Californians. For nearly 40 years, the Foundation has taken an intersectional, inclusive approach to building a California where all our communities are healthy, safe, and economically secure. This belief shapes our three program strategies: investing in community organizations by funding organizations and efforts that work across issues to build community power for gender justice; training grassroots community leaders to be policymaking powerhouses through the Women’s Policy Institute; and connecting community partners through convenings and strategic partnerships to share knowledge, promote collaboration and strengthen the social justice movement in California.

The CPO designs and implements monitoring, evaluation, and learning processes with the goal to share and integrate knowledge and to enhance programmatic results and impact. The CPO leads the Foundation’s program department and supervises the Program Team of five members and multiple consultants and contractors. The CPO is a member of the Leadership Team and provides oversight for the Foundation’s strategic direction, team-building, implementation of policies and practices, budgeting, and planning processes.

The CPO works closely with the Development Team to raise funds from individuals, institutional funders including private foundations and corporations. The CPO represents the Foundation in public settings, provides leadership in multiple social movements, and provides timely opinion and analysis to Foundation management, constituents, organizational partners donors, and board members on issues impacting gender, racial, and economic justice. This position requires frequent overnight travel throughout California and the United States.

The CPO is closely involved in designing and managing a healthy organizational culture centered on the Foundation’s values of community, justice, well-being, learning, collaboration, trust, flexibility, intersectionality and transformation.


Essential Duties

Program Leadership & Oversight

  • Provide leadership and oversight of the Foundation’s programmatic efforts including our three program strategies of investing in community organizations, training community leaders, and convening community partners.
  • Leverage and steward strategic partnerships and relationships that help ensure the success of grant partners and Women’s Policy Institute fellows and alums.  
  • Provide programmatic expertise in multiple issue areas including economic justice, reproductive justice, environmental justice, gender-based violence, criminal justice, and community health for staff, board, and constituents.
  • Identify priorities, gaps, and trends in program areas and make recommendations accordingly.
  • Represent and speak on behalf of the Foundation in multiple public settings.
  • Create and support efforts to document the progress, successes and problems of projects, reporting to funders, donors and others on programmatic work.
  • Cultivate new relationships and networks to broaden the awareness and deepen the impact of the Foundation’s programmatic work.


Team & Organizational Management

  • Lead the Foundation’s Program Team by providing guidance, support, mentorship and direct supervision of staff and consultants. Create opportunities for team members’ leadership and professional development and ensure that Program team members are supported, valued, appreciated and motivated to produce high-quality work.
  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, ensuring they are able to elevate their level of responsibility, program priorities, and performance.
  • Lead annual planning and budgeting for programs and projects and contribute to annual organizational planning and budgeting.
  • Participate in Foundation staff, Program Team, Leadership Team, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors meetings on a regular basis.
  • Staff the Program Committee of the Foundation’s Board.
  • Engage in other activities as needed or assigned to successfully move the Foundation’s mission forward.

Development & Communications

In conjunction with the Development and Communications Team, hold a leading role in resource development and creating a culture of philanthropy that strengthens the Foundation’s programs and relationships in the following ways:

  • Work closely with Development Team members to raise funds from institutional funders and individual donors by cultivating current and new relationships with funders and soliciting and stewarding their investments.
  • Assist with the development of fundraising proposals and with activities that support the strategic positioning of the Foundation and its work.
  • Work closely with Communications staff and consultants to develop content for multiple outlets such as the Foundation’s website and social media in order to share information about the Foundation’s programmatic achievements and activities.
  • Convene staff across teams to develop and advise on institutional branding such as storytelling, voice, brand and imagery.
  • Participate in development of key Foundation materials including Op-Eds, infographics, videos and reports.



  • Minimum 7 years’ experience with progressively more responsibility planning and managing multiple mission-driven programs within a large nonprofit setting;
  • Experience supervising staff, solid working understanding of recruiting staff, leading effective team and supervisory meetings, encouraging high levels of staff performance, evaluating staff and addressing performance issues;
  • Passion for and knowledge of issues and challenges faced by cis and trans women, gender-variant, genderqueer, and non-binary individuals; and trans men.
  • Savvy about developing collaborative partnerships, knowing when to lead and when to let others lead, and always seeking to ensure that the Foundation is a highly respected funder, trainer and convener known for its integrity, strategy and thoughtful programming.
  • Experience developing philanthropic and/or public/private partnerships that shift political power either through social justice grantmaking, brokering or allocating government funding streams, social impact investment, or hybrids thereof; Interest in transforming philanthropy and leveraging financial resources to build community leadership and power;
  • Excellent analytical, strategic thinking and problem-solving skills; ability to innovate, with capacity to create or seize opportunities to improve program effectiveness and organizational outcomes;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including confidence and comfort with public speaking in front of a variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team in managing multiple and often simultaneous tasks, and to create a work environment with a high level of organization, collaboration, timeliness, cost effectiveness, accuracy and results;
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing programs that successfully engage diverse communities; strong understanding of best practices related to cultural competence of gender, racial, and economic justice issues;
  • Demonstrated history of innovative program design and implementation experience supporting creation of funding proposals and budgets;
  • Ability to adapt and provide leadership in the face of challenges or changing priorities;
  • Evidenced commitment to an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary team approach to work; strong collaboration and conflict resolution skills;
  • Excellent computer and technology skills including proficiency with MS Office suite and familiarity with using databases and online project management tools; must be comfortable learning and using new technology;
  • Ability to conduct regular overnight travel throughout California and the United States. At times, up to 40% of the position’s time will be spent traveling.



  • Possesses a strong commitment to the mission, policies, goals and values of the Women’s Foundation of California.
  • Committed to leading with humility, approachability, and accessibility, and helping team members grow and learn by being a mentor, facilitator and coach.
  • Possesses a strong commitment to the self-reflection and interpersonal work needed to create an inclusive and grassroots-driven organization that is at the forefront of gender justice in California.
  • Results-oriented and entrepreneurial.
  • Able to work independently as well as within a team, set and achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgement and maintain confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Creative thinker, joyful collaborator, self-starter and detail-oriented communicator with a positive approach, can-do attitude and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to create positive, long-term working relationships by demonstrating a commitment to teamwork and customer service, tact, dependability, diplomacy, and flexibility.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to meetings and other Foundation events.


  • This is a full-time, non-exempt position, with a salary range of $115,000-$150,000. Salary offer will be dependent on experience.
  • We provide 15 days paid vacation to start which increases over time (20 days after 5 years, and 25 days after 10 years); 12 paid sick days, 12 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule.
  • We provide generous benefits including paid parental leave, medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, flexible spending account, fitness reimbursements, a 401(k) retirement plan match, transportation benefits, and AD&D insurance with the Foundation covering 100% of the costs of the insurance package.



At the Women’s Foundation of California, we believe outstanding people are the key to our success. We value a diverse and inclusive workplace and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, trans people, gender non-conforming individuals and formerly incarcerated people to apply.

As an equal opportunity employer, we recruit and hire with the understanding of systemic oppression and of the lived reality of people with marginalized identities. We also recruit and hire without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, prior conviction, arrest history, disability, marital status, veteran status or age.



The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the job’s essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to remain in a stationary position for long periods while operating a computer to create documents, conducting Internet research, sending and receiving e-mail and participating in meetings; communicate on a telephone and in person; read and write; apply logic and focus attention in the presence of distractions. Occasional requirements are to move about the office to access file cabinets, office equipment, etc.



To apply, please email a cover letter and resume, combined in one document, with the subject line: Chief Program Officer to: [email protected]. The cover letter should highlight why you are interested in the position and what makes you a strong candidate. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. All documents need to be Microsoft Word or PDF files (PDF files are preferred).

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